SZA’s SOS Tour Concert Review: NYC Edition

Viva Reimers ‘24 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Solána Imani Rowe, mainly known by her stage name, SZA, has encapsulated the world with the release of her newest album, SOS. SZA has sold out both shows at Madison Square Garden for her March 4 and March 5 dates of The SOS Tour. The venue was filled with about 15,000 fans.

Getting into the venue mobs started forming the second the doors opened. Since there was no traditional pit section where you need to run to get a good spot, everyone was running to the merchandise lines. The item that sold out in minutes was her tote bag which cost $20.

During SZA’s performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Omar Apollo was her opening act. When he started, not everyone was in their seats but screams could still be heard to cheer the artist on. During his performance, there were many staff members running around behind him with flashlights. Most of the audience could not see this due to the three black screens that covered most of the stage. During his performance, he sang eleven of his hits including “Evergreen” and “3 Boys.”

After his performance, a playlist began blasting throughout the speakers of The Garden. Safety and community could be felt within the walls especially when songs such as “Just Wanna Rock,” by Lil Uzi Vert started to blast on the speakers and people would get up and dance while everyone in the arena cheered.

Once the lights go out signaling to the audience SZA is starting the screams become deafening. The three black screens start to display clouds as they slowly move up and reveal SZA sitting on a platform. This platform was used to represent the boat’s diving board she sits on, on her album cover. Her hypnotic voice fills the air as everyone grows silent taking it all in at the same time.

During her very popular song “Kill Bill,” the three screens were used in an interesting way. While performing she was projected onto the screens with her backup dancers. To connect the song to the Quentin Tarantino movie franchise Kill Bill, she would kick and use her ball and chain prop toward the dancers. What’s interesting is that on the screen it looked as if she was fighting them. This is a direct parallel to Kill Bill: Vol I, during the fight scene between The Bride versus The Crazy 88s. In that fight scene, there is a specific part where The Bride (Uma Thurman) is fighting The Crazy 88s in front of a wall that is illuminated blue making the viewer only mainly see their silhouettes. The ball and chain, which is called a Meteor Hammer, is the same weapon Gogo Yubari used in Kill Bill: Vol I. This song’s choreography paid direct homage to the Kill Bill movies.

Similarly, during the song Smoking on my Ex Pack, there were projections used in a unique way. The projection on the three screens showed SZA backstage changing outfits while singing the song. With this being said, the aesthetic of not only these songs was well above the average concert.

At the end of the concert, SZA emotionally reveals to the audience that New York—specifically this area—means a lot to her. It means a lot to her because not only did she grow up in the area, her parents and the mother of a song’s muse were present at the concert.

Leaving the venue consisted of hundreds of bodies up against each other moving towards the same three doors. Outside the arena, there were about ten different men selling faux SZA merchandise including two different kinds of t-shirts, and two different kinds of sweatshirts. 

The entire concert was full of singing and dancing from the thousands of fans who attended. With certainty, no one left this concert without ringing ears, a lost voice, and post-concert depression.

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  1. Wow! This was such an insightful review of the SZA concert. Looking at pictures and videos I could really feel the energy in the room but reading this gave me a great big picture of the experience. ❤️

  2. This article really made me feel like I was there with you. Obsessed with sza and so jealous you got to go.

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